Heroes: Season 1 (review)

It’s ironic that in order to break new ground, this series — the surprise (or maybe not) NBC hit of last season — harkened back to the past. Echoing the chapter serials that thrilled movie audiences in the 1920s and ’30s, as well as the pulpy comic books of the 1940s and ’50, this astonishingly addictive series posits a sudden genetic transformation that imbues seemingly random humans with something close to cartoonish superpowers… and now they all seem to be connected to a series of horrifying events that, one of them who can see the future understands, could result in a mushroom cloud over New York, with disastrous consequences for the entire planet. Can they save the world by averting this disaster? And how does one sweet Texas cheerleader figure into it? The mantra “Save the cheerleader, save the world” became a byword last autumn for those in the know with this thrilling show, now Emmy nominated for Outstanding Drama Series and for Outstanding Supporting Actor, for the previously all-but-unknown Masi Oka, who steals the show; the chance to reappreciate the sneaky twistiness of his dual performance is an excellent reason to indulge in this set. That “save the cheerleading” thing also became a nagging, if delightful mystery: Just what the hell is going on here? With this DVD package — crammed with the kind of extras fans love, including the unaired 73-minute pilot, 50 deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, audio commentaries, and more — the uninitiated can, and should, discover what all the fuss is about, and the devoted can watch again, and suss out all the clues and hints sure to be vital for enjoyment of Season 2.

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